After every recession decimates a portion of the RV industry we see new companies rise from the ashes of those who came before them that did not survive the economic casualties that such downturns leave in their wake.
This recession is no different.
Several new manufacturers have emerged this year to show the entrepreneurial spirit that is found in so many adventurous souls who like to make exciting products that allow consumers to enjoy a unique lifestyle outdoors and in concert with nature.
One of the "new guys on the block" is Nexus RV (http://www.nexusrv.com/) founded by Claude Donati and Dave Middleton, veteran RV manufacturers who previously worked under the traditional model of manufacturer selling to the dealer and the dealer selling to the consumer.
They studied the new buying habits of consumers and the way they use the Internet to do their research prior to visiting a dealership. They coupled that knowledge with a desire to "break the mold" and establish a brand new company with a factory-direct sales model from their new facility near the RV/MN Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana.
The intent of this posting is not to "hype" the new company, but to ask our readers if this is something they would consider the next time they purchase a new motorhome. Nexus proclaims significant price reductions by eliminating the middleman in the sales process. They also promote the ability of the buyer to sit down with the owners and work out all the details of the sale including some customization to the motorhome.
On a company video posted on YouTube, Dave Middleton notes that Nexus will be the first company to start out life as a factory-direct operation. There are certainly other motorhome manufacturers that sell factory-direct; two that come to mind are Born Free and Lazy Daze, both exceptional products with a loyal customer base.
Does the idea of buying factory-direct get your attention? Would you prefer to buy factory-direct or purchase from the local dealer where you can establish a closer relationship?
Nexus is well prepared for the question that will inevitably come up during their sales presentations: what about service? The company has signed up approximately 250 independent service companies to service the Nexus motorhomes on the road.
How would service affect your decision to buy factory-direct from any of the three companies mentioned here versus through a dealer and manufacturer's service organization? Is the market really changing? Is Nexus RV ahead of the curve or will consumers be slow to buy factory-direct from a start-up company?
We know many are comfortable buying from Born Free and Lazy Daze who are well established in the industry with a loyal following.
What are some of the important things that you would want to know before you would consider buying a motorhome factory-direct versus a dealer? Let us know how you feel on this topic. I'm sure Claude and Dave would appreciate your views. I've had the pleasure or working with these guys when they worked for other RV companies and they were always very cordial and open with the media. I wish them well in this new venture and look forward to seeing their products soon.